Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 453-454

Day 453:

Iaido was three times kata for practice. I tried to make sure to keep my left hand down for a smoother cut.

In Kendo, our normal instructor was out so our current Sensei took over. We did warm-ups that I remember him telling me he does. It was fifty times suburi, including men, kote, doh, and haya-suburi. That really taxed us all for breath. He was all right because he’s used to it.

Then we did punishing amounts of suri-ashi drills. Over and over and over and over… I had to sit out before the end. I felt like falling over.

When I got my breath back, I got into line and did kiri-kaeshi and menouchi until I was out of breath again. I stayed out for the rest of class. When it was time for ending rei-hou, I forgot my men and had to be corrected about standing high in line without full bogu. That was embarrassing.

Day 454:

No class today as I am sick.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 451-452

Day 451:

Today for Iaido it was only myself and the instricytor. I did my three sets of kata quietly, trying to keep the changes in practice.

In Kendo, we did warm-ups and then several rounds of vigorous suri-ashi, kiri-kaeshi, and men-ouchi. I felt out of breath again. I think the prolonged kiai during suri-ashi drills are what taxes my breath. I had to sit out for a while, missing kote-ouchi and doh-ouchi. However, I was good enough for a couple rounds of ji-geiko at the end.

Day 452:

In Iaido, we spent most of class in lecture and practice for the fifth and ninth katas. Make sure to cut upwards and not sideways both up and down. In the ninth kata, be sure to pull yourself back using saya-biki and bring your sword hand down in chiburi.

Today we had a new format of Kendo class. After warm-ups, we skipped regular suri-ashi and arranged ourselves in pair going lengthwise. We then did running sets of drills about suri-ashi, kiri-kaeshi (going only one way), renzoku-men, and renzoku-kote-men. Only one iteration and then we switch pairs. After each switch you swap partners. This really kept class moving. I also wasn’t so out of breath and finished the class without sitting out!

Friday, February 15, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 449-450

Day 449:

In Iaido, we concentrated on the first and second kata. I tried to incorporate breathing into them, but I wound up just making myself light-headed. Still, coordinating your movements to the breaths did make the movements smoother. The instructor reminded me that my left hand needs to be lower to make the sword more horizontal, even though the ki-saki is a tad down.

My first night back at Kendo class was rough. I tried going through warm-ups, but I couldn’t quite finish exactly. I had to not do sword swings during haya-suburi. After that, I was out of breath for the whole class. I even had to step out twice. I still attended for kiri-kaeshi and menouchi.

Day 450:

In Iaido, I did one and a half sets of kata before the instructor called for formal instruction. We went over the third and fourth katas. I need to cut more sideways and not straight down. The left hand should end up in front of the torso, but the blade is angled sharply. The fourth kata needs to demonstrate the turning of the head for metsuke more pronouncedly.

Kendo class was easier than last time. I missed the first part of warm-ups, but I finished, including sword swings with haya-suburi. We did suri-ashi, menouchi, and koteouchi drills. We then put on men and stepped into line. We did kiri-kaeshi and menouchi drills. I stayed in as long as I could, but eventually had to step out. The rest of the class did kote and doh drills while I got my breathing under control. When the class started doing ji-geiko, I stepped back in. I fought with two students, taking it easy and letting them have some openings. Then I fought against some dans, including a godan that came to practice with us. After class, I asked his advice since I could not stay for advanced class. He said that I raise my shinai up to jodan for zanshin after menouchi. I should keep it lower because jodan opens kote and doh for counter-attack. I think I get that habit from Iaido.

While waiting on the sidelines, I realized that even though the doctor has cleared me for Kendo, I have to take rest breaks for my health. If I’m out of breath, it’s because my blood is saturated with carbon dioxide and my liver can’t clear my blood fast enough to let the carbon dioxide out quickly. This slows my intake of oxygen. Pushing myself would just make it worse. I’m not putting myself in that bad position again.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Beginner's Point of View 447-448

Day 447:

Last weekend I went up to our partner dojo to help run their first tournament. I couldn’t fight, so instead I ran one of the four tables. I was in charge of making sure every got done right: scoring, timekeeping, announcing, and ribbon-tying. The event lasted all day and drained me of energy.

In class, I did three sets of kata slowly since I was a little tired from the weekend. The instructor was there and I asked him about changes to kata.

He said that chiburi on the ninth kata was different. You step back by pulling on your saya in saya-biki and you lower your hand for the sword motion. On the eighth kata, you stab more upward to the rear opponent and then twist the sword so the cutting edge ios higher than the non-cutting edge.

Day 448:

In today’s class, we had more people, so the instructor went over changes to kata. In the first kata, we need to raise the sword higher above our heads, extending the arms up. We also need to breathe to time movements. Breathe in slowly, move slowly in preparation. Then breathe out quickly to strike or chiburi. I didn’t get the instruction, thinking that I had to breathe out slowly. That made me dizzy. This will mess up my kata until I can include it into the routine, like when I tried to add metsuke.